Australia has announced the para-sports programme for the next Games to be held there in 2018.
Following on from the innovation of Glasgow 2014, which staged the biggest and most successful para-sports programme in Commonwealth Games history, the programme is set to grow even further when the Games takes place in Gold Coast in just over two years’ time.
In Gold Coast 2018, up to 300 para-athletes are expected to compete in 38 medal events across seven sports (four core sports and three optional sports selected by the host city) , representing an increase of 45% more athletes and 73% more medals. Sports include: Aquatics (Swimming), Athletics, Cycling (Track), Lawn Bowls and Powerlifting, all previously held in Glasgow, although some of the events and athlete classifications have been changed. Specific events are decided by the host city in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games Federation and the International Paralympic Committee.
In addition, the sports of Triathlon and Table Tennis have been added, with Triathlon making its debut, building on the enormous success and profile of the Triathlon competition at Glasgow 2014 and internationally.
There will be an equal number of men’s and women’s events across all seven para-sports, further demonstrating the Commonwealth sports movement’s commitment to equality and inclusion.
Since the last Games, both the Swimming and Athletics para-sport programme has doubled (from 6 to 12 medal events each), including the first ever wheelchair Marathon (T54) at a Commonwealth Games, which will take the inspirational thrill of para-sport competition to the streets and communities of the Gold Coast.
Welcoming the news Jon Doig OBE, Commonwealth Games Chief Executive said: “Glasgow 2014 moved the Para-Sport programme on to a new level and it is great to see Gold Coast’s commitment to inclusion go even further, with the introduction of two news sports and even more medal opportunities.
“Team Scotland had great success in para-sports in Glasgow winning seven medals (3 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze) in four out of the five sports on the programme. They provided some of Scotland’s most memorable moments with double gold for Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean in cycling, gold for sprinter Libby Clegg and guide Mikhail Huggins on the Hampden track and our youngest team member Erraid Davies from Shetland became darling of the pool, winning bronze in the 100m Breaststroke at just 13 years of age.
“We have already started working with the relevant sports governing bodies and Scottish Disability Sport to identify the talent pool for Gold Coast, particularly in the two new sports of Triathlon and Table Tennis and we are confident that we have the potential to be well represented once again.
“It is fantastic that a number of para-sport athletes who competed in Glasgow will get another opportunity to be selected for Team Scotland, but it is particularly unfortunate that Libby Clegg’s event is no longer on the programme.”
The cycling programme is:
33. Women B & VI Sprint
34. Women B & VI 1000m Time Trial
35. Men B & VI Sprint
36. Men B & VI 1000m Time Trial